Bob will be the first to tell you I like things hot. I'll always choose a sunny beach over chilly mountains, a knock-out red over any green and fresh jalapenos on my pizza.
And color me sold on anything that cuts time in the kitchen. I never compete with Pillsbury in the piecrust department or spend hours stirring up pasta sauce when it's so easy to open up Ragu.
So when the folks at Nueva Cocina asked us to try some of their heat-inspired shortcuts-to-homemade-goodness, I thought "Time to mix it up!"
We're giving away a gift basket filled with 100% natural, Latin-inspired favorites from Nueva Cocina. It includes 12 rice mixes, seasoning packets and soups (a $29.99 value) sure to spice up your meals.
Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest* ends Nov. 17!
This tasty dish caught my eye because Bob's such a big fan of beef-and-rice stuffed peppers.
Cut off tops of peppers and remove membrane.
Prepare Nueva Cocina Mexican Rice Mix according to package directions and set aside.
Brown meat. Then add Nueva Cocina Picadillo Seasoning and tomato sauce and cook according to package directions. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ground beef, cooked rice, water and 3/4 cup of shredded cheese (optional). Mix well.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the stuffed peppers.
Bake at 350° degrees for 45-50 minutes until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.
* Can also be prepared using Nueva Cocina Taco Fresco Seasoning
What We Liked
Most everything needed for the Mexican Rice came in the box. I just mixed water and a little olive oil with the package ingredients. While the rice cooked, I browned lean ground beef. Then I mixed it with the handy Nueva Cocina Picadillo Seasoning packet (how easy!) and tomato sauce. Plus the products are all-natural; they contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
How It Tasted
Yummy! We loved the delicious combination of Mexican Rice, spicy ground beef, tomato sauce and peppers topped with cheesy goodness. The mixture had just enough of a kick to get our attention and make it worthy of Bob's must-repeat-often list!
A few nights later, we tried these spicy chicken-and-rice wraps.
Prepare Nueva Cocina Rice Mix for Chicken according to the package directions.
Chop the chicken into 1" cubes. Combine the chicken, rice and cheese.
Spoon approximately six ounces of the mixture onto a wrap - add a small amount of lettuce, tomatoes and Cilantro Lime Crema.
Roll up and cut the wrap across on the bias.
Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce
Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and thoroughly combined.
What We Liked
Once the rice was ready, this healthy burrito-like sandwich came together in minutes. Naturally, we enjoyed it made with some of Bob's famous grilled chicken breast. But it would also be good with rotisserie chicken from your favorite deli.
How It Tasted
The lettuce added a nice little crunch to this delightful, Latin-inspired chicken-and-rice medley. And the Cilantro dressing laced with lime complimented the flavors perfectly. What a great way to sneak a salad onto Bob's plate!
On the Shelf
Nueva Cocina foods are available at NuevaCocina.com and major retailers like Publix, Whole Foods and Fresh Market
* This contest is only open to entrants in the 50 United States.
Thank you to Nueva Cocina for providing free samples for review and testing.